This subproject will focus on non-profit, community-based alternatives to the corporate sharing economy in the selected cities. A member of the research team will conduct one eight-month case study in each city, focusing on initiatives that promote egalitarian, user- and worker-controlled models of platform-mediated value creation – dedicated to, for example, food sharing, time banking, or borrowing household goods. One prominent example is the Platform Cooperativism movement, which was founded in NYC but has since spread to many other cities, including Berlin and Amsterdam. Examining this initiative as well as other local platforms, the case studies together aim to answer these questions for each city:
- How do small-scale, community-based platforms support the maintenance of everyday life for its participants? Do they offer resources that otherwise wouldn’t be available?
- Who is included and enabled to participate through these local platforms and who isn’t? How do these in/exclusions interact with broader gender, racial, and class inequalities?
- How do these platforms survive? Do they (have to) compete with corporate platforms? Do they receive some form of public support?
- To what extent do these platforms take over functions usually associated with market or state actors?